Thursday, 25 June 2015

Letting go of control

I have control freak tendencies. The extent of this controlling nature did not simply extend to just trying to control what other people did, thought of or responded to me. I even tried to control the control-freak part of me, clamping her down so that she wouldn't emerge to hurt my relationships any further. Sometimes I even denied her existence, hiding behind a veil of 'I'm only worried/concerned/acting out of love for you', or whatever excuse I could come up with at that time, to make myself feel better. (and yes, it makes me nervous to even type this out right now) Of course, that never really works out, because, my slips in mindful awareness are the times she would sneak out to wreak havoc on my mental and emotional state, not to mention my behavior toward the very people I love. 
Just not too long ago, I faced multiple incidents with my parents, as well as the man I am in a relationship with, where this side of me resulted in emotionally draining situations, unable to enjoy in the other party's company as the moment desired. Sometimes, I rebelled against well-intentioned advice, insisting on my own point of view and refusing to accept or even acknowledge their perspective. Other times, I decided for myself what was 'good for them', and attempted to influence events to fit my idea of an ideal outcome. Otherwise, I disallowed myself from asking for what I truly wanted out of fear of rejection or disapproval. Regardless of the situation, the ultimate outcome always ended up being either a dearth of connection between me and the other party, disappointment, or conflict. The desire to control never ends well, and most definitely a far fetch from the 'perfect ending'.
This was something I struggled with for a long time. What could be wrong when I had a (relatively) good idea of what I want, think, and need, and what others want, think and need? Why is it so hard to find a compromise so that everyone can be happy? And I struggled in vain, until two recent incidents  over the past weekend helped to provide some resolution on the matter. 
The first moment of epiphany happened during a church service where an interview about leadership with Dr. Henry Cloud (clinical psychologist, leadership expert and author) was screened. One particular sentence struck a chord within me -- 'A good leader allows, and trusts people to do what they are good at.', preparing me for what was to come later. 
That same day, I hesitated on something that E had the intention of following through with because I 'did not think it was a good idea as I am worried for him and think it might be a drain on his energy and time' (ie. I decided for myself what was good for him). He asked simply, 'Why don't you let me decide what I want?'. 
And that's when I fully realized, that trying to control or impose my own ideas on someone else's actions is not only selfish, but also futile. The only person who can, and should, have say over his/her life is the person him/herself. Because everyone is best at one thing -- living their life. No one can do it for them. As a friend, lover or family member, no matter how well we know, or think we know, the person, no one knows him/her as well as he/she does. Therefore, no one will know what is truly best for him/her, simply because only he/she is there 24/7 to experience all that they see, feel or do, to fully know their story. Everything else that we project onto them, well-meaning intentions or otherwise, are simply projections from our own lives onto theirs, and how can we really compare our experiences to theirs? How can we assume that the things that we worry about are of similar importance/value to them? Even if we would like to minimize the pain our loved ones may experience, is that the best way of showing them love? What if that very pain is required for them to progress to a better life? How would they learn otherwise, and can we (and should we) take this away from them? Is sheltering them and trying to control everything, are we protecting them or harming them? 
Letting go of control is an extremely difficult thing to do for anyone, especially control freaks like me. But in a mere few days, I have learnt that, whatever perfect scenario we imagine is simply something that happens in our head, something unreal that distracts us from what is real, what is truly happening, and distracts us from holding that freedom and space for those we love and even ourselves from developing into even more wonderful individuals than we already are. Without that space, open communication and true understanding cannot occur, the very things that resolves differences, even fear itself. Sometimes, the very act of letting go and trusting in the ones we love, trusting in our own judgment over how and who we love, or simply trusting in that life will turn out just fine the way it will be, allows for better things to emerge than we imagined it to be. 
In the end, trust wins over fear. Love always wins. So, quit it. =p


Wednesday, 24 June 2015

The most beautiful people...

"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen."
~ Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

This past year, I witnessed several of my close friends go through difficult times in life and love. I watched them as they were brought to their knees, helpless in the face of challenge, and then I watched them as they brushed themselves off to rise in the face of that same challenge. Together, we cried, swore, and threw up our hands in exasperation when it all seemed too difficult to bear. Together, we laughed and sighed as we said, 'We'll keep trying again and again until we get there'. I saw how they grew over time into stronger, yet unhardened, women with a deeper appreciation for love, life and everything and everyone around them. I saw them becoming more and more beautiful over time, not just on the outside, but more importantly, on the inside. It never ceases to amaze me how time can change everything, even the most stubborn parts of ourselves that we never thought we could or would change. It never ceases to amaze me the kind of love and gentleness we could develop over time, much more than the extent that I envisioned we had the capacity for. 
To Kathy and Joy, I dedicate this post to you. I just want to tell you how beautiful you are to me, and how much I look forward to witnessing your journey, and growing with you into the persons that we can and will be. <3
To my other friends and readers who are experiencing a trying period in your life, I wish to send you love and assurance that, at the end of this chapter in your life, you WILL emerge so much more lovely and beautiful like the caterpillar that has metamorphosed into a butterfly. Do not lose hope, you are stronger than you may think, and you can get through this. Life isn't about perfection or the lack of challenge, but about how you decide to respond to the challenges. You can do it! =) Much love to you~ xoxoxo

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

All the time you've got is...

How often do we make excuses to not do something that we long to because we 'don't have enough time', or are 'waiting to have some spare time'? When will we finally decide that this life is all we have to do what we want, before we realize that we had wasted all that time waiting to 'have time' for it? 
If you have been procrastinating or putting off something that you really wish to do, but 'didn't have the time to' because of work/commitments/obligations to other people/roles, can you find a window of possibility to dedicate some time, no matter how short, to living the life that you truly want? Sometimes all it takes is a conviction and loyalty to yourself, or a willingness to say 'no' to things that don't make your heart sing or are not actually as important as you think they are, so that you can finally live the life that you want. One life is all you have. Make it happen! =)

Friday, 12 June 2015

“I want everyone to love me” by Michèle Jabre

Sharing a blog post written by my good friend, Michèle Jabre, who also happens to be a transformational coach.

Featured article: “I want everyone to love me”

How happy do you feel every time you are with people who love you? You feel confident and this highly positive energy allows your self-esteem to be very strong.

Yes, it is the characteristic of mankind to live in a community and to be affected by its feedback about us. We want to impress, to show our best face or value, to be recognized and ultimately to be loved. We simply desire to belong.

Each one of us is surrounded by people who love and appreciate her: family, friends, lovers… This is what helps us face obstacles and hard times in life. They give us the energy required to be able to confront different kinds of issues.

It is really an amazing feeling to be aware of this love. Isn’t it normal then to desire to be loved by everyone and totally forget about all the possible interpersonal tensions?

Think about it very well… about what it truly means.

Why would you have such a desire? Is it to make sure no one will judge you? Or is it in order to have more friends? Or maybe just as an ego boost?

Why do you wish everyone could appreciate you?

Okay, you might need a reality check here.

Just one question: Do you know anyone who is loved or liked or appreciated by all the people he/she meets?

I’m going to cut it short: NO!

No one can be since this is our nature as human beings to have the choice of our feelings towards others. We are free to like someone or not same as we are free to like a kind of food or color. We like it because it triggers something positive within us, and same goes with people. People appreciate you because they share a special interest or bond with you.

Also, let me ask you: Would you be able to love everyone you know? Obviously not. How do you feel about that thought? It gets trickier…

Well, this is the world we live in. We can’t all love each other. It’s just a utopia!

Meanwhile, what I recommend you to do is to enjoy the people who are already in your life. These people are making it better and are the ones by your side when you are in need of support. Tell them how grateful you are for all the love and happiness they give you. They are a blessing!

Now, you can transform your initial expectation into “I am grateful to have all this highly positive energy in my life!”

By Michèle Jabre

If you would like to connect with your feminine essence while experiencing more of  Michèle's amazing energy, do check her out at !
Have a great weekend, everyone! =)

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

No matter what happens..

When life gets confusing, and you can't see what the next steps are or where they may lead, I hope you remember that..
No matter what happens, the path will reveal itself when the time and place is right. You can, and you will, find the strength to handle what comes your way. You will stand back up after being defeated, triumph over challenges, and you will grow with every experience. The truth is that, what doesn't kill you can only make you stronger. Because of that, you will be OK. In fact, you will be more than OK. You will become so much more than you ever imagined possible, and so much more beautiful than before. It can all only get better =)

Monday, 8 June 2015

What is forever after?

Recently, I met a man whom I fell in love with quickly, shockingly, and passionately.  He cracked my heart open in more ways than I thought was possible, showing me what love can be like, what it means to love freely without judgement, to love with full acceptance, to love without boundaries. 
I used to think that a relationship worth pursuing is one where there is a definite future, where there will be a 'happily ever after', two people in love with each other forever and ever. I believed in the permanence of things. But after meeting him, it all changed. Due to certain circumstances, it is unlikely that this relationship will last. Does knowing this hurt? You bet it does. As much as I'm learning to let it go, it takes all my strength not to be angry at my life for showing me something so beautiful and real, only to take it away eventually. But does it make this love less real? No, it doesn't. In fact, I wouldn't want it any other way. 
I have come to learn that forever after does not rest in the possession of something that you hold dear, but in the love that you will always keep in your heart for that someone or something, no matter what happens. Things, possessions, and all things material, are fleeting. Relationships, too. Romance may change over time, waxing and waning depending on time and place. But love will always remain. Love, however short, will remain in its unique form in our hearts with its memories and well wishes. And to spend time worrying about how long something will last, is to take time away from the beauty of the moment. Who knows what will happen tomorrow, in the next hour, or even the next minute? Things change, and people change. Two people may meet at a crossroads to share a beautiful moment together, and then part to walk down their own paths again, but that experience, however brief, is still as precious as one that may last years or decades. 
And for that moment alone, without asking for anything else, I am forever blessed and thankful. Thank you, E, for everything that you have shown and taught me. Thank you for holding that precious, freeing space for me while I work through my broken-ness with you. But most of all, thank you for being you, and for us being who we are today so that we can walk down this brief road together. I love you =)